Thursday, 17 February 2011

Carcassonne's La Cite in Languedoc Roussillon

Author: BrianRS
Sitting on the banks of the River Aude overlooking 'La Bastide Saint-Louis' otherwise known as the 'ville basse of Carcassonne', is the world heritage site of 'La Cite' a vibrant walled city that dates back beyond medieval times and to this day operates as a living, working and thriving community.

La Cite caters primarily for the tourist industry these days having evolved into a major tourist attraction. Consequently within its walls you will find hotels, restaurants, cafes and shops to help serve the 3 million plus visitors that Carcassonne receives each year. There are also plenty of cultural events taking place covering art, music and the history of wine in the region, naming but a few.

The services that the businesses within the walled city offer are supplemented with regular displays of medieval activities such as jousting and dueling with exhibitions taking place during the summer months. The highlight of the year is the magnificent fireworks display that is held on the 14th July for Bastille Day when there is a re-enactment of 'La Cite Ablaze'. The display starts around 10.30p.m ensuring that night has well and truly fallen, providing the best possible back drop for this amazing show of pyrotechnics.

The castle has had it's critics, some will say that the restoration of the castle that took place around the mid 1800's has left the castle looking more like the work of Walt Disney than of the original craftsmen who first worked on the structure.

That opinion is all a matter of perspective however and there is no getting away from the fact that it is a magnificent structure that is likely to last for centuries to come. Had the restoration not taken place then there is a good chance it could already have fallen into irrecoverable ruin.

Beyond the city itself, there are numerous places of interest to visit, many of which relate to the 13th century and the persecution of the Cathars at that time. There are also inland lakes, rivers and mountains; not forgetting the wine regions of Corbieres and Minervoise which are both right on the doorstep of Carcassonne.

Many people base themselves in the centre of Aude so that they can access the Pyrenees Mountains, visit the Mediterranean coastline, follow the Canal du Midi or visit some of the other beautiful cities of the region such as Narbonne and Toulouse. With so much history, architecture and natural beauty in the region it really is a hard place to resist visiting.

Self Catering Holidays in Carcassonne are very popular either in the city itself or in the surrounding area. However to secure accommodation for the very popular months of July and August generally requires that bookings are made early.

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Thursday, 10 February 2011

Painting Holidays in France

We have recently been able to arrange a very agreeable collaboration with a local professional artist and tutor 'Nicola Blakemore' that allows us to offer art courses here at Le Moulin. Hopefully you will agree that as a former water mill, being over 300 years old and in a beautiful French countryside setting with views of the Pyrenees, not to mention the woodland walks, streams, medieval village and Cathar fortresses just around the corner, Le Moulin is the ideal spot for a relaxing and chilled out painting holiday in France.

Now with the addition of Nicola's talent and experience in running art courses as an established local business, we think we have the perfect combination for a perfect painting holiday.

You can find out more about Nicola on her own website Painting Holidays in France and if you would then like to find out more about the details and cost of the course you can visit our page which is also called Painting Holidays France

In the mean time here are a few more water colour paintings done by some of Nicola's students for you to enjoy, the painting at the top is called 'La Boulangerie' and was painted by Nicola herself.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


Please note this additional update to the FCO bulletin.

In addition to the chartered plane scheduled to leave Cairo on Thursday 3 February to assist British nationals wishing to leave Egypt, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has decided to charter a second plane scheduled to leave Cairo on Saturday 5 February.
The charter flight leaving Cairo on Thursday evening is now full. British nationals who wish to use the second charter service on Saturday should register with the FCO. Please note that there will be a charge for this service - seats on this flight will cost £300 each. Those already booked on other commercial flights should not cancel their bookings.
To register for a seat on this flight and further instructions please call: +44 (0)207 008 8765 / +20 227 916 000 in Egypt

In light of the ongoing unrest in Egypt the British Government has chartered a plane to supplement commercial capacity.
The plane will depart from Cairo International Airport on Thursday 03 February and there will be a charge of approximately £300 per person.
To register for a seat on this flight and further instructions please call: +44 (0)207 008 8765 / +20 227 916 000 in Egypt

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